Sunday, August 14, 2011

Occultation of ZC3453: August 16, 2011

After Pi Sagitarii occulted this past Wednesday (the tenth of August), the northwest American states and Canada will be able to witness the occultation of Kappa Pisces this August 16. Although the moon again will damage such a pretty sight (around the time of occultation, the moon will be in the waning phase of 93% illuminated), stargazes will have to keep an eye on the star graze literally 'through' the moon. The disappearance is always most fascinating, but you have to admit the reappearance is spectacular as well. 

Kappa Pisces is a trinary star system located in (of course) the constellation Pisces, but is at magnitude 4.9 (Actually, one member is at around mag 4.9, one at mag 4.89 and the other at mag 11.9). This is fairly bright, but not a good occultation star. It is rather close at 162 light-years and with binoculars you can easily see the two mag 4 stars.

Occultation timing and locations are represented at this link with a larger version of the map above. The IOTA (International Occultation Timing Association) does an excellent job on putting up new occultations for the coming days.

Upcoming Occultations:
21 Aug - Occultation of δ Ari - 4.4m - USA, Canada
22 Aug - Occultation of 37 Tau - 3.0m - USA, Central America, n So America, Caribbeans

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